Welcome to our recurring post, 3D Interactive Tech Talk, highlighting how interactive technology is being used right now and where it’s headed.
Canada’s Northern Centre for Advanced Technology (NORCAT) is creating a new virtual training experience for the mining industry, meant for the Oculus Rift VR headset. NORCAT director of software development Ed Wisniewski believes it’s time the mining industry made use of the technology US oil companies have relied on for years. He states VR training is ideal for safely learning complicated job tasks, and practicing emergency drills to keep skills sharp for times they might be needed. He also thinks the gaming aspect is of major importance. “A game is there to make you fail … And it’s through your achievements as an end-user that you overcome what the game is trying to throw at you. And by that achievement you actually learn.”
It’s not surprising to hear NASA has been using virtual reality as part of their astronaut training for years. A recent talk during the NVIDIA GTC conference, however, revealed recent advances in VR are allowing them to use this tech in new ways. For example, to train people for the unique challenges of working in space, NASA uses what they call “Hybrid Reality.” Combining VR and gaming technology, like motion controllers and the HTC Vive headsets, they’re able to build an accurate simulation of the International Space Station that blends physical characteristics with the virtual. This creates a much more realistic training environment. They also have a giant video wall for times when headsets can’t be used – such as inside the helmet of a spacesuit.
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